Adding a Parmesan cheese rind to a pot of soup gives it great depth of flavor. I save the rinds in a bag in my freezer so I always have one on hand when I need it. If you want to make this dairy free, omit the cheese rind. It will still be delicious! When using beans in a soup, I like to use dried beans, which must be soaked and then cooked. But feel free to use canned beans (organic if possible). I use any white bean I have on hand (white kidney bean, great northern, navy) and they all work just fine.
5 slices of bacon, diced
1 cup carrots, diced
1 cup, celery, diced
1 ½ cups onion, diced
3 cloves garlic
5 cups of kale, finely chopped
1 ½ cups cooked white beans
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
8 cups of chicken stock
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
If available, Parmesan cheese rind
1. Sauté bacon until crisp. Remove from pan and set aside on a paper towel lined plate. Discard all but 1 Tbsp. of the bacon fat.
2. Over medium heat, sauté carrots, celery and onions. Once they have softened, add garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add crushed red pepper.
3. Add kale and sauté briefly. Add the chicken stock, beans, rosemary sprig and Parmesan cheese rind and cook for 20-25 minutes.
4. Remove rosemary sprig and cheese rind. Take ¾ cup beans and ½ cup of stock from the pot and place in blender. Blend and return the mixture to the pot. This will thicken the soup.
5. Return bacon to pot and cook another 5 minutes.
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